UGANDAN STUDENTS AWARDED AGROSTUDIES DIPLOMAS IN ISRAEL
A total of 213 students from 12 institutions in Uganda have been awarded diplomas at a function where 1,200 students from 8 countries in Africa and Asia graduated from the 2016/2017 eleven-month agricultural on-job training apprenticeship under the Israel AgroStudies Capacity Building for developing countries.
The eleven-months life changing apprenticeship programme at the AgroStudies Training Centre enables students to get hand-on training skills and exposes them to modern farming methods in horticulture, crop and animal agriculture. The students who also go through a social attitude and mindset transformation come out ready to become youth cadres of agricultural transformation and job-creation through commercial agriculture production, agro-processing and innovations.
This is the fourth cohort of Ugandan students bringing to a total of 675 who have benefitted from the training since Uganda entered into partnership with the Government of the State of Israel in 2013, to enable Ugandan students undertake an attitude, mindset change and agricultural skills apprenticeship at the AgroStudies International Centre in Israel.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs Janet Museveni handed over the Diploma Certificates to the 213 Ugandan students at a graduation ceremony held at Binyenei HaUma International Convention Centre in Jerusalem on Sunday 3rd September 2017 where she was Guest of Honour.
She congratulated the graduates and urged them to work hard, build discipline and put to good use the skills acquired from the apprenticeship programme as a multiplier effect in the communities in their respective countries so as to bring about tangible transformation. “Remember to whom much is given much is required as the parable of the talents in Mathew Chapter 25 clearly illustrates”.
“I am confident that our returning students will be ambassadors for socio-economic transformation through education and skills enhancement to Uganda’s agriculture sector”, she said.
She appealed to Ugandan Universities to establish demonstration farms for the returning interns to use to start up model facilities for communities and other institutions to emulate.
Mrs. Museveni who many times referred to books in the Bible’s Old Testament said, “when we talk about Agro-Studies and agricultural skills, what comes to my mind is the ancient biblical story of Joseph the Jewish boy who was a dreamer and through his many skills including agriculture in that day and time didn’t only save one country where he was living as a slave initially and then as Prime Minister, but he saved the earth from monumental famine”. She therefore suggested that the AgroStudies Apprenticeship programme be named the Joseph Project.
“What we learn from this perspective is that the world needs to as much as possible break the barriers that create tension which minimizes the great results that could be got when our hands are put together to create a global village. Many times, we have played lip service and talked so much about the idea of a global village and yet we continue to close the doors that honest cooperation could very easily bring to our world”, she explained.
She called upon Universities and Colleges in Africa to spearhead reform and transformation of agricultural education and training so as to produce the young ‘Josephs’ across Africa who will graduate with real and gainful business and entrepreneurship know-how.
Mrs. Museveni said that Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports’ current focus is on skills development because it recognizes the need for skills training for its young population. She observed that the State of Israel has many lessons such as endurance, a national work ethic and skills development that Ugandana can learn from.
She also hailed the long-standing relationship between the State of Israel and appreciated the support Israel has extended to Uganda over the many years. She pledged Government of Uganda’s commitment to strengthening its collaboration with the State of Israel. She also hoped for continued partnership with the Israel Government Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) and Agrostudies International Centre for Agriculture.